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Institute of Buddhist Studies Podcast

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Cleaning Cloths, Poetry, and Personal Buddhas: Laywomen’s Healing Practices in Contemporary Japan

Domestic Dharma: Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries, Numata Symposium 2012 Keynote Address by Prof. Paula Arai.

Creativity, flexibility, and accessibility are qualities characteristic of the Buddhist practices that women in contemporary Japan engage in as they weave healing activities into their daily life. Home-made ritualized activities, which draw upon and innovatively adapt age-old traditions, include common greetings turned into healing events, cleaning cloths performing medical mysteries, and poetry writing. In addition, this domestic Dharma often sees a loved one transformed into a Personal Buddha upon death, bestowing wise counsel and compassionate support.

Originally recorded on 22 September 2012
(c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Paula Arai

An audio-only version of this talk is also available.

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